Dearest Darling Friends,
For Japanese workers in big cities, a typical work day begins with a state called sushi-zume. This term likens commuters squeezed into a crowded train car to tightly packed grains of rice in sushi.
As you read the above paragraph, your mind might have said ‘Ouch’. The tough conditions do not stop there. The country’s super demanding work culture ensures most people put in long hours at the office, governed by strict hierarchical rules.
Overwork is not uncommon. On weekdays, even around midnight, trains home are filled with people in suits. These details make you think, people in Japan must be super stressed. You might even be thinking, people there must have a shortened life span. Here is a surprise…inspite of this, Japan has the maximum % of centenarians. Centenarions are people who live for over 100 years. How do they manage?
The secret may have to do with what Japanese call Ikigai. There is no direct English translation of this word. Loosely translated, it means ‘happiness in living’. Essentially, Ikigai can be explained as the driving force to get up in the morning with a smile and driven by purpose.
In the western world, Ikigai is often associated with a Venn diagram with four overlapping qualities: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.
Dearest Darling Readers of LSM, on India’s 70th birthday, the family of Life School, wishes you as life of Ikigai . Happy Independence Day. May you live a life independent of worries, stress, pain and conflicts. May you live a life with abundance of joy, celebrations, victories, purpose and ‘giving’.
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,